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The Strife of Camlann by Sean Poage is a Salute Military Event pick #historicalfiction #giveaway

Title: The Strife of Camlann (Book 2 of the Arthurian Age trilogy)

Author: Sean Poage

Genre: Historical Fiction Adventure

Book Blurb:

Fifteen hundred years have turned history into legend… Arthur’s Men have returned to Britain to keep the peace between fractious allies. Gawain wants only to raise his family and forget the war, yet he carries a heavy burden: an oath to maintain a terrible lie.

But is it a lie?

Looming conflicts threaten more than any border or throne. The course of history, the future of the Britons, will be decided at Camlann.


“We did not expect you, Myrddin,” Gwenhwyfar said, paling in the ruddy firelight. “But no door is barred to you. Please, sit beside me.” She motioned for an extra seat, and Bedwyr shifted over, his beard twitching at the mouth.

“You never come to share meat and mead, Myrddin,” Modred said. “And never do you bring good tidings. What calamity looms tonight?”

“If I bring tidings, they are neither good nor ill. Simply opportunities. It is up to the recipient to make something of them.”

“Come, Myrddin,” Gwenhwyfar spoke up to distract from the veiled retort about Lundein. “Share our wine and tell us your news.”

Myrddin bowed and crossed the room, shocking many. He never sat at the table, only appeared, spoke his piece, and was gone. Gawain was disappointed that Myrddin did not look his way as he passed.

As Myrddin took his seat, Bedwyr said, “Is your news for all ears?”

“All I have to say will be common knowledge soon enough,” Myrddin said. He took the cup of wine that Gwenhwyfar handed him, saluted her, and took a long drink. Setting the goblet on the table, he swirled it once and stared into it. Silence lay on the hall as Myrddin seemed to lose awareness of those around him. When the pause had stretched to an uncomfortable length, Modred took a drink from his cup and thumped it loudly on the table, staring at Myrddin. Myrddin started and looked up, glowering at Modred.

“Have you forgotten what you came to say?” Modred asked mildly.

“It is eleven years since Cair Lundein fell to the enemy,” Myrddin said softly. “Have the Saxons observed the peace you made with them?”

“They have,” Modred answered boldly. His eyes shifted to Bedwyr. “Or, Hengist and his brood have, at any rate. There are occasional clashes with the Saxons around the Humbra, and we still deal with raiders that come from across the sea.”

“We cannot know for certain where they come from,” Bedwyr declared. “Some we capture claim to come from Britain.”

“Others have called those lies to prevent Arthur from wreaking vengeance on their homelands,” Modred retorted.

“In all cases,” Gwenhwyfar spoke up, “we have held the borders, have we not?”

“We have,” Modred affirmed, and Bedwyr grunted and nodded.

“Many of those raids do originate in Britain,” Myrddin said. “The Saxons test their leashes, preparing for their greatest assault since the Barbarian Conspiracy.”

“Hengist plans to attack again?” Cador was incredulous.

“Hengist’s mind is gone. He spends his days staring at nothing and cursing ghosts,” Myrddin said. “Aesc and Octha rule in his name, but they are small concerns in this plot.”

“Who else could dare?” Iddon said. “Not those petty warlords on the Humbra? Ceolgar and Baldulf?”

“Aelle,” Bedwyr growled, his thumb tapping the table.

“Aelle.” Myrddin nodded. “He sends gifts and promises to every Saxon warlord from Cantia to Berneich, and woos allies in Germania.”

“Who would listen to him?” Cador demanded. “He rules nothing. Lives among swineherds and fishermen. Iudoc! He’s your charge. Have you seen any evidence of this?”

“I, erm, no.” The would-be king squirmed. “He’s been entirely faithful, defending my shores with his new ships so capably that we’ve not suffered a raid in two years.”

Silence followed.

“Scepticism accompanies wisdom,” Myrddin murmured, finally.

“You say this now? After so much time?” Iudoc sputtered. “Why did you not warn us before the accursed pirate ever set foot on our shores? Wisdom would have been better prepared to offer him death instead of land in my realm!”

Myrddin stared at Iudoc; his lips tightened, his eyes grew darker. He leaned forward, and though he seemed to whisper, his voice carried clearly across the hall. “Your realm is my responsibility? Do I collect your taxes? Do I hunt in your woods? Drink wine in your halls? No! My breath is spent toiling, crossing high mountains, deep seas, and perilous roads to preserve Britain. If I do not arrive on your threshold to warn of every thief in your pastures, be grateful if I come to warn you of the assassin at your table!”

“You have given a full measure in your long life, Myrddin,” Gwenhwyfar said, laying a hand on his forearm. “For which we are all grateful. Perhaps you might tell us why the Saxons would violate a long-standing treaty?”

“Oaths are meaningless to the heathens,” Constantine snorted, then looked down at his father’s sharp glance.

“They chafe under the peace, pressured to provide their warriors plunder and glory, or risk losing them to more aggressive warlords,” Myrddin replied. “They’ve been restrained more by the preparations against them than by their oaths.”

“Many have called my efforts to store up supplies and extend the earthworks a waste of time and resources,” Modred said with a smug smile.

“Those efforts give Aelle his pretence for war,” Myrddin said. “As did the Consilium’s resolution to take back Cair Mincip and Lundein.”

“Nearly seven years ago!” Tudur called out from the other end of the hall.

“I fulfilled my charge to procure the supplies,” Modred said. “Only the will is lacking.”

“Perhaps a leader is lacking?” Cador sneered.

“All raised their hands at Cair Cerin,” Modred retorted. “But after? I was provided excuses instead of soldiers!”

“I know those excuses well,” Tudur grumbled. “Britons fear their neighbours more than a foreign threat on another’s border.”

“How do the Saxons know of the resolution?” Gwenhwyfar spoke up to change the subject. “Or of our preparations?”

“The Saxons have their spies,” Myrddin said. “They knew of the resolution soon after it passed. Of course, fortifications are clear for any eye to see, and several years of procurement and storage of war materials will not go unnoticed.”

“It must be Aesc behind the plot,” Iudoc said. “Why would anyone listen to Aelle?”

“Because Aelle is of royal lineage, while Hengist’s line is not. Despite his claims, Hengist came to Britain an exile, disgraced by surviving the death of his liege, and cursed by the murder of his host,” Myrddin said.

Gawain was as dumbfounded as the others. Hengist’s name was a curse on the lips of every Briton for his years of treachery, but none had considered that his claim to royal lineage might be a lie. If Myrddin is right . . . but of course he is. Gawain shook his head, a chill running down his back. It’s fortunate the Saxons have been more divided than Britons. A Saxon of royal blood could change that.

Buy Links (including Goodreads and BookBub):

What makes your featured book a must-read?

There is something timeless about Arthurian legend. So many people over the centuries have written their own versions, but few have tried to show Arthur in his real place in history. One of the best compliments I receive on my books is that they portray a King Arthur that not only seems real, but still feels like an Arthurian story.

Giveaway –

Enter to win a $20 Amazon gift card:

Open Internationally. You must have a valid Amazon US or Amazon Canada account to win.

Runs May 23 – May 31, 2023.

Winner will be drawn on June 1, 2023.

Author Biography:

Historical fiction author, Sean Poage, has had an exciting and varied life, as a laborer, soldier, police officer, investigator, computer geek and author. Travelling the world to see history up close is his passion. These days he works in the tech world, writes when he can, and spends the rest of the time with his family, which usually means chores and home improvement projects, with occasional time for a motorcycle ride, scuba dive, or a hike in the beautiful Maine outdoors.

Social Media Links:


Rita Wray
Rita Wray
May 26, 2023

Sounds great.


N. N. Light
N. N. Light
May 26, 2023

Thank you, Sean, for sharing your book in our Salute Military Bookish Event!

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